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Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning. The majority of earthquake-related injuries result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

If indoors:

  1. If you're indoors, stay there. Get under -- and hold onto --a desk or table, or stand against an interior wall. Stay clear of exterior walls, glass, heavy furniture, fireplaces and appliances. The kitchen is a particularly dangerous spot. If you’re in an office building, stay away from windows and outside walls and do not use the elevator.
  2.  If you’re in a crowded public place, avoid panicking and do not rush for the exit. Stay low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
  3. In laboratories, extinguish all flames (if possible) before taking cover. Stay clear of areas with large quantities of hazardous materials.

If outside:

  1. If you're outside, get into the open. Stay clear of buildings, power lines or anything else that could fall on you.
  2. If you're driving, move the car out of traffic and stop. Avoid parking under or on bridges or overpasses. Try to get clear of trees, light posts, signs and power lines. When you resume driving, watch out for road hazards.
  3. Keep looking around to be aware of dangers, which may demand immediate movement.

When the shaking stops:

  1. Check for injuries to personnel in your area. DO NOT attempt to move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger.
  2. Check the area for safety hazards such as building damage, fires, chemical spills, or gas leaks.
  3. Exit the building and go to your designated assembly area.  Stay at least 500 feet away from the affected building or other hazards. Keep streets, fire lanes, and walkways clear for emergency vehicles and crews.
  4. Take roll and report missing persons, injuries, damages and/or potentially hazardous conditions to building manager or designated point of contact.
  5. Supervisors and designated points of contact should contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department to report any immediate emergencies.
  6. Once you have exited the building, DO NOT re-enter the building until the building has been inspected by trained emergency personnel.
  7. Use the telephone to only report emergencies.

 To call the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:

  • Dial 911 from any campus phone.
  • Dial (615) 421-1911 from any other phone.